It concerns Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie, Duchess of St. Swythun's Punt-on-Thames, Duchess of Cardigan and Wooly Boots, and (by Royal Appointment) Guardian of Offa's Dyke. Miss Sadie, Bear's long-time and faithful companion, is parting company with Bear. This decision has been initiated by Bear.
Her Ladyship has released the following statement (which is also to be found on her blog).
I have a big brother, who is a Malamute, and who is twice my size. His name is Dugan. I've also got a sister — a black Standard Poodle just like me, but about six years older than me. Her name is Willow. My new master is a veterinarian, who really loves Poodles. So this is going to be a very good thing. At least I think. I hope.
"But where is Bear?" you ask. Bear and J are "moving house." They're leaving their house a block from the river, and moving into an apartment in a building on the opposite river bank. It's a mile or so downriver from where they have been living, and right across from downtown. But one of the rules is that people cannot bring animals with them. I cannot come.
I realize all of this is peculiar, so I'll explain.
At least some of you, maybe all of you, realize that Bear has been getting sicker since last fall. Last weekend, he spent some time in hospital.
For many years Bear has suffered quite a bit of pain, from several "misadventures." Since last fall, the chronic physical pain has has been getting worse, which simply added to the emotional pain of his chronic depression.
So when he was briefly out of hibernation a while ago, he explained things to me, and we had a good cry together. Just taking me for a walk, on my lead, hurts his neck, and shoulder, and back so badly that he has to take strong medications and lie down when we're finished. And when we play fetch in the back yard, he hurts so badly that he has to lean on his grandchildren's play house in order to stand up.
I had no idea that looking after me, and doing things with me, was hurting Bear so badly!
And that's when he said he had found a new home for me. And that's why he and J are moving. They'll be in an apartment, so he doesn't have to look after the yard, and trees, and gardens, and so he doesn't have to keep up with the house repairs.
I really don't want to leave Bear. I don't want him to leave me. And I'm sure he doesn't want us to part. But I guess neither of us can help that. As Bear would say, "You win some, and you lose some, and some get rained out."
Two members of the Editorial Committee, Frank Serif and Mary Italic, accompanied Miss Sadie to her new home. They are happy to report that Miss Sadie received a warm and enthusiastic greeting from all but Dugan, who growled at her when they first met, and paid little attention to her after that. We trust Miss Sadie will be a long and happy relationship with her new family (despite Dugan's initial response). Indeed, Sadie was so busy playing with Willow she did not see the Editorial Committee members leave.